Shraddha murder case: Accused Aaftab taken for voice sampling test

Earlier, Delhi High Court had on Friday given permission to Delhi Police to obtain a voice sample of Poonawalla after police had submitted a plea for the same.
Aaftab Amin Poonawalla outside CBI headquarters
Aaftab Amin Poonawalla outside CBI headquarters ANI

NEW DELHI: Aaftab Poonawalla, the prime accused in the Shraddha Walkar murder case was on Monday brought to the Central Bureau of Investigation headquarters in the national capital for a voice sampling test. Tihar jail officials were seen taking Aaftab to the forensic lab this morning for the test procedure.

Earlier, Delhi High Court had on Friday given permission to Delhi Police to obtain a voice sample of Poonawalla after police had submitted a plea for the same.

This follows after Delhi Police managed to retrieve an audio with conversation between Aaftab and Shraddha. Court has observed that though a fair trial is a right of an accused but at the same time, a fair investigation is required in the larger public interest.

Metropolitan Magistrate Vijayshree Rathore of Saket court said, "True, a fair trial is the right of the accused but it is also true that fair investigation is also required in the larger public interest as the offence cannot escape and crime cannot go unnoticed merely because the accused is not ready to aid in the investigation."

Thus, the application moved by the Investigating Officer (IO) seeking permission for a voice sampling test of the accused is allowed, the court had ordered.

On Friday, the court also referred to the decision of the Supreme Court of India in 'Ritesh Sinha vs State UP', which clarified the position that "judicial order compelling a person to give a sample of his voice is not violative of Fundamental Right to Privacy, under Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India".

It was further observed in the case that the Fundamental Right to Privacy cannot be construed as absolute and must bow down to compelling public interest, the court noted.

On Friday, the court also said the contention of counsel for the accused that consent of the accused is mandatory even in the case of the voice sampling test cannot be accepted. It is clear that a voice sampling test can be conducted even if the accused does not consent to the same. An opportunity of seeking the willingness of the accused after informing the nature of the application moved by IO is already granted to the accused, the court said.

Aaftab is accused of murdering his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar and chopping her body into 35 parts. He is also alleged to have preserved the chopped body parts in a refrigerator before dumping them in forested areas in Delhi and Gurugram.

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